Chris Boardman never raced cyclo-cross during his pro career, telling us that he – understandably – “wanted some time out after a long summer’s racing”. Now that he’s not competing he tells us he likes riding tracks and trails, at the moment using a Boardman Hybrid Pro with a cut-down bar. Well, with a ’cross machine in his range he can now replace the Hybrid with this somewhat more suitable beast.
Ride & equipment: Excellent off-road performance, and comfy on the cobbles too
Sensibly, the Boardman comes with a standard 27.2mm seatpost, and the extra comfort over larger diameter posts is appreciated on bumpy road surfaces.
Although some riders will doubtless buy it for commuting, city streets aren’t really what the Boardman is designed for, though, cobbles or no cobbles. What it’s designed for is being thrown through the woods and down trails with abandon, and the Pro CX wasn’t found wanting.
Around the edge of some football pitches its grasstrack (mud track?) performance and grip was excellent, the Ritchey tyres digging in impressively. The sealed cartridge bearing hubs survived everything the elements could throw at them – which was quite a lot – and they’re straightforward to service. They also coped with roots and rocks without complaint.
SRAM’s lowest priced Rival groupset is at the heart of this bike’s setup. The brakes took a while to bite, but worked without squealing or causing front fork judder. It’s good to see an extra set of cyclo-cross levers so you can still brake when riding on the hoods. We didn’t actually use them that much when riding off-road, but on the (cobbled) road in city trafﬁc, they came into their own.
Frame: Stiff in all the right places, but internal cabling is awkward
Boardman has been quick to pick up on developments like BB30, and the oversized bottom bracket appears on this frame. The rest of the chassis is beautifully ﬁnished with super-neat, smooth welds.
The head tube tapers from 1-1/2in to 1-1/8in for the same reason as the BB30 – adding extra stiffness in a crucial area of the frame. It’s good to see an entirely carbon fork at this price, with only the dropout being metal.
The quality of the look and ﬁnish were enough to wow long-time bike shop mechanic and BikeRadar workshop manager George. He wasn’t so overjoyed with the internal cabling for the rear brake cable – helpful for shouldering the bike but it has no internal channel so changing cables is a tricky process.
The only other criticism was that the bottom bracket shell had picked up a bit of water, which could eventually ﬁnd its way into the bottom bracket bearings. It’s worth emphasising that testing was carried out over some incredibly wet days, but as cyclo-cross is going to be tackled in some atrocious conditions it’s something to bear in mind.
|Name||Pro CX (10)|
|Description||Tyres: Ritchey Excavader Cross Pro, 700x35|
|Rims||Mavic CXP 22 machined alloy aero|
|Top Tube (cm)||57|
|Standover Height (cm)||82|
|Seat Tube (cm)||50|
|Bottom Bracket Height (cm)||29|
|Stem||Ritchey Comp forged alloy, 4-bolt oversized bar clamp, twin bolt 1 1/8in steerer clamp, 12cm length|
|Shifters||SRAM Rival carbon Double Tap|
|Seatpost||Ritchey Comp forged alloy, twin-bolt seat clamp, 27.2mm x 300mm|
|Saddle||Boardman vinyl with anatomically relieved shell, chromoly rails|
|Rear Hub||alloy sealed cartridge low ﬂange|
|Available Sizes||L M S XL|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM Rival alloy short cage|
|Headset Type||FSA fully integrated sealed cartridge ahead, differential 1 1/8in-1.5in|
|Handlebar||Ritchey Comp 6061 alloy, 42cm width, shallow anatomic, 31.8mm clamp zone|
|Front Wheel Weight||1319|
|Front Hub||alloy sealed cartridge low ﬂange|
|Front Derailleur||SRAM Rival|
|Frame Material||Butted 7005 series alu, differential head tube with BB30 and replaceable gear hanger.|
|Fork||Carbon with 1 1/8in-1½in steerer, forged alloy dropouts|
|Cranks||FSA Gossamer forged alloy 2-piece, BB30, alloy hollow spindle, 110mm bcd, alloy rings, 175mm arms|
|Cassette||Shimano CS-5600 10spd 12-27, steel cogs with alloy carrier|
|Brakes||Forged alloy cantis with safety levers|
|Bottom Bracket||FSA BB30 sealed cartridge bearings, press ﬁt|